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Collingwood brushes aside North Melbourne

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Jason Phelan

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Pies crush Kangaroos

Collingwood claim a resounding win over North Melbourne on Saturday at the MCG.

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COLLINGWOOD 5.4  10.6  11.9  13.15 (93) NORTH MELBOURNE 2.3  5.3  5.7  8.10 (58)
Goals: Collingwood: T Cloke 4 D Beams 2 J Elliott 2 J White 2 H O’Brien S Pendlebury T Goldsack. North Melbourne: L Thomas 2 R Bastinac 2 B Harvey D Currie L Greenwood S Gibson.
BEST Collingwood: Sidebottom, Swan, Cloke, Pendlebury, Fasolo, Maxwell, Elliott, Frost. North Melbourne: Cunnington, Harvey, Bastinac, Atley, Dal Santo.
Umpires: Mathew Nicholls, Dean Margetts, Brendan Hosking.
Official Crowd: 57,116 at MCG.

Collingwood has surged into the top eight with a dominant 35-point win against North Melbourne at the MCG on Saturday.

The Kangaroos were looking for their fourth win in a row, but they wilted under the Pies' superior pressure and had few winners as Nathan Buckley's men notched back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

Travis Cloke had four goals to his name by half-time.

Travis Cloke had four goals to his name by half-time. Photo: Getty Images

Time
Q4 26:57
Team
COFC
Score
13.15.93
Team
NMFC
Score
8.10.58
Collingwood versus North Melbourne
View Match Statistics
Players Cloke (4.4), White (2.2), Elliott (2.1), Beams (2.0), Pendlebury (1.2), Goldsack (1.1), Lumumba (1.0), Blair (0.1), Fasolo (0.1), Sidebottom (0.1), Swan (0.1) Scorers Thomas (2.1), Bastinac (2.0), Currie (1.0), Gibson (1.0), Greenwood (1.0), Harvey (1.0), Black (0.1), Dal Santo (0.1), Jacobs (0.1), Petrie (0.1)

The form of Travis Cloke and Dane Swan has been a hot topic over the first month of the season, but both found some touch, with Swan amassing 35 possessions and Cloke netting a four-goal bag that could easily have been six as the Pies ran out winners 13.15 (93) to 8.10 (58) in front of 57,116 fans.

It was a scoreline that flattered the Kangaroos in some ways as Collingwood largely picked apart the North midfield, which was missing Andrew Swallow and Jack Ziebell, with Steele Sidebottom and Scott Pendlebury getting plenty of the ball.

In-form defender Scott Thompson went to Cloke from the start and the pair shared an engrossing battle, but it was Cloke who carried the day, with Thompson too often left one out on the hulking forward. At the other end of the ground, Lachie Keeffe was rarely left to his own devices as he minded Drew Petrie, who finished goalless.

Collingwood's Jamie Elliott. Click for more photos

AFL Round 5: Collingwood v North Melbourne

Collingwood plays North Melbourne at the MCG. Photos by Wayne Tayler 

Pies tagger Brent Macaffer, the subject of much scrutiny for his tactics against Trent Cotchin last week, went to Nick Dal Santo, but his efforts won't draw nearly as much attention because the pair largely nullified each other's influence.

Ryan Bastinac got North off to a flyer with a nicely snapped goal inside the first minute of play, but it was Collingwood with the momentum for most of the first term. The Pies made their intentions known early, getting plenty of numbers back in their defensive half and hurting the Roos on the counter with their superior spread.

The Kangaroos didn't do themselves any favours with their sloppy ball use as the Magpies' first three goals came from turnovers. With Petrie still struggling to find the ball inside their attacking 50, Lindsay Thomas was North's biggest threat, but his goal halfway through the first quarter came against the flow as the Pies pressed home their advantage.

Cloke's woes in front of goal so far this season have been well-documented, but the Pies' spearhead quickly got the better of Thompson and kicked two goals in the dying stages of the term to double his tally from the four previous games.

His first goal may well have ramifications for Thompson and the Kangaroos next week as the key defender was reported for a late hit on Cloke that also drew a 50-metre penalty.

Petrie's own troubles continued at the other end when he missed a regulation set shot with just seconds left in the opening term, which allowed the Pies to take a well-earned 19-point lead into the first break.

Collingwood threatened to take the game away from North in the second quarter as Jesse White and Cloke hit the scoreboard to stretch the margin, with the news getting worse for the Roos as a groggy Leigh Adams was helped from the field, and he stayed away for the rest of the term while he was assessed for concussion.

Collingwood's lead got out to 45 points as Cloke asserted his dominance over Thompson with his fourth major, but the Kangaroos rallied late with goals to Sam Gibson and Daniel Currie making the margin a more manageable 33 points at half-time.

The Pies' ability to pick apart their opposition in the first half was in evidence in the marks, with Collingwood more than doubling the Roos: 69-34. Nathan Buckley's men also layed 10 more tackles as they sought to pile on the pressure.

North was under siege early in the second half, with Collingwood's inaccuracy in front of goal the only thing keeping the Roos in the match. Seventeen minutes elapsed without a major score thanks to the Pies' inaccuracy and the Roos' inability to find a reliable avenue to goal.

Tyson Goldsack finally broke the drought when he got on the end of a string of hand passes to kick an important team goal. Once again, it was the Pies' superior pressure that led to the turnover, which saw Swan link up with Sidebottom who found Goldsack in the goal square.

At the other end, Petrie and Dal Santo spurned chances to narrow the gap, with Ben Jacobs subbed on for Currie late as Brad Scott searched for more run and carry.

North has developed a reputation for finishing off games well this season, but they had a mountain to climb as they started the final term 38 points in arrears. The Pies booted three behinds to start the quarter and leave a glimmer of hope for North, but that was snuffed out when Jamie Elliott finished a good day out with successive goals.

Insult was added to injury for the Roos, with Thomas limping from the ground as the Collingwood song played, after Ben Cunnington collided heavily with his left leg inside the last minute.

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Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
CAR 78 vs RIC 105 19:20MCG
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MEL 115 vs GCF 89 13:40MCG
SYD 72 vs ESS 60 16:35ANZ
BRI 74 vs COL 86 19:20G
WBU 97 vs WCE 87 19:20ES
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STK 78 vs GWS 87 13:10ES
ADE 140 vs NTH 63 15:20Adelaide Oval
FRE 75 vs PTA 68 18:40Domain Stadium
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COL 63 vs ADE 90 16:35ES
GCF 76 vs STK 104 19:20MS
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NTH 133 vs BRI 51 16:40ES
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Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
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Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
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Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
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HAW vs FRE 15:20AS
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Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
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Round 20
Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
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Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
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Round 22
Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE vs COL 19:50MCG
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Round 23
Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
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Adelaide Crows 3 3 0 0 171.27 12
Sydney Swans 3 3 0 0 141.75 12
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Richmond 3 2 1 0 139.37 8
Collingwood 3 2 1 0 125.65 8
Western Bulldogs 2 2 0 0 118.95 8
GWS Giants 3 2 1 0 113.47 8
Essendon 3 2 1 0 104.74 8
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